Synopses & Reviews
Launched in 1976, Punk
magazine announced an exploding youth movement, a new direction in American counterculture. Punk
was to magazines what the stage at CBGB was to music: the gritty, live-wired, throbbing center of the punk universe. Despite its low-rent origins, the mag was an overnight success in the underground music scene, selling out every print run across the US and UK. Every musician who appeared on the cover of Punk
became an icon of the era. But Punk
not only championed music, it became a launching pad for writers, artists, cartoonists, and graphic designers. And the wacky, sardonic, slapstick vibe of the magazine resonated with an international army of music fanatics who were ready to burn their bell bottoms and stage-dive into the punk universe.
The Best of Punk Magazine collects the best of these pages into the ultimate, must-have anthology:
- Interviews with the Ramones, Sex Pistols, John Cale and Brian Eno
- Photos by Roberta Bayley David Godlis, and Bob Gruen
- Cartoons by R. Crumb, Bobby London, and John Holmstrom
- The articles that formed the groundwork for Please Kill Me, the legendary oral history of punk by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain
- Two "graphic novels"—The Legend of Nick Detroit and Mutant Monster Beach Party—told through photographs featuring Debbie Harry, Joey Ramone, Richard Hell, Andy Warhol, Peter Wolf, and David Johansen
The Best of Punk Magazine is a must-have for people who love punk rock music, comics, fanzines, Blondie, the Ramones, Lou Reed, the Velvet Underground, the Sex Pistols, and the legendary CBGB scene.
"Though it only existed from 1976-1980, Punk Magazine captured the zeitgeist of New York's punk music scene as it emerged from a few ramshackle clubs (most notably CBGB's and Max's Kansas City) to the national and international stage. With its quirky, sardonic style, the publication paired a DIY aesthetic with brash cynicism: Among its stated goals was to proclaim 'Death to Disco Shit,' while providing essential early coverage of the Ramones, Patti Smith, and Blondie, among others. Holmstrom one of the co-founders alongside notable rock journalist Legs McNeil employed an underground comic strip, semi-collaged approach to many of the magazine's features and interviews, which culminated in the creation of two underground star- studded graphic novel issues: 'The Legend of Nick Detroit,' starring Richard Hell, and 'Mutant Monster Beach Party' which cast Debbie Harry and Joey Ramone as teenage lovers. More than just a fanzine, Punk also featured the work of underground comic luminaries such as Robert Crumb and Robert Romagnoli, as well as photographer Bob Gruen. Through it all, Holmstrom provides a candid account of the magazine's short-lived but explosive run: 'We may not have invented the word punk,' he writes, 'but we put it on the map.' Photos & illus. throughout. (Dec.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
“This coffee-table book cherry-picks from the archive: a Patti Smith Q&A, a carton strip (with real photos) starring Lester Bangs, and a two-page centerfold of Debbie Harry, whos billed as ‘Punk Playmate of the Month.” Rolling Stone, 4 Star Review
The anthology is packed tighter than CBGB in the 70s on a Saturday night, with incredible interviews...art, comics, rants, killer photos, and behind-the-scenes commentary and backstory on each issue from Holmstrom. Its not just the history of the magazine...it conjures up the spirit of an era. Vanity Fair
“If youre a punk fan, Id say this hardcover is pretty essential to your collection.” USA Today's Pop Candy
“While the thought of a hardcover, slick-papered, coffee-table book anthologizing the decidedly low-rent, ragtag Punk magazine might seem the antithesis of punk, even a curmudgeon like Johnny Rotten would have to spit a gob in appreciation of the nicely done result.” Houston Press
“The Best of Punk is a funny, visually-stimulating time capsule commemorating the first music periodical of its kind: A subversive, savvy, often-imitated street-intellectual art showcase for punk rock purveyors at the dawn of the Eighties.” Examiner.com
“Though it only existed from 1976-1980, Punk Magazine captured the zeitgeist of New Yorks punk music scene as it emerged from a few ramshackle clubs (most notably CBGBs and Maxs Kansas City) to the national and international stage.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
The very best of Punk—the legendary magazine thatdefined an era—finds new life in this stunning anthology, featuring originalarticles along with behind-the-scenes commentary and the backstory on eachissue as told by editor-in-chief John Holmstrom. Punkwas the Bible of the urban counterculture movement. It not only gave punkmusic its name, but influenced the East Village art scene and steered the punkaesthetic and attitude. The Best of Punk Magazine includes high-qualityreprints of hard-to-find original issues, as well as rare and unseen photos,essays, interviews, and even handwritten contributions from the likes of AndyWarhol, Lou Reed, Debbie Harry, the Ramones, the Sex Pistols, Lester Bangs,Legs McNeil, Lenny Kaye, and many more. For collectors, lifelong punks, andthose just discovering what punk is all about, this is the chance see thehistory of the movement come back to life.
About the Author
John Holmstrom is a cartoonist and writer and co-founder (with Legs McNeil) of Punk magazine. He illustrated the covers of the Ramones albums Rocket to Russia and Road to Ruin, and created the characters Bosko and Joe, which were published in Scholastic's Bananas magazine from 1975-1984, as well as in Stop! Magazine, Comical Funnies, Twist, and High Times. Holmstrom's work and unmistakable artistic style has become the key visual representation of the Punk era.